To Horace Mann
bad, that as I wrote you word, over and over, I have not been able to write a line. That will move her, when she hears what melancholy descriptions I write, of my not being able to write—nay, indeed it will not be so ridiculous as you think; for it is ten times worse for the eyes to write in a language dne don't much practise ! I remember a tutor at Cambridge, who had been examining some lads in Latin, but in a little while excused himself, and said he must speak English, for his mouth was very sore.
I had a letter from you yesterday of January 7th, N.S., which has wonderfully excited my compassion for the necessities of the princely family*, and the shifts of the old lady 6 is put to for quadrille.
I triumph much on my penetration about the honest Rucellai—we little people, who have no honesty, virtue, nor shame, do so exult when a good neighbour, who was a pattern, turns out as bad as oneself! We are like the good woman in the Gospel, who chuckled so much on finding her lost bit; we have more joy on a saint's fall, than in ninety-nine devils, who were always de nous autres! I am a little pleased too, that Marquis Bagnesi, whom you know I always liked much, has behaved so well; and am
more pleased to hear what a leffana the Electresse is-----
Pho! here am I, sending you back your own paragraphs, cut and turned ! it is so silly to think that you won't know them again ! I will not spin myself any longer; it is better to make a short letter. I am going to the masquerade, and will fancy myself in Via della Pergola7. Adieu ! ' Do you know me?'—'That man there with you, in the black domino, is Mr. Chute.' Good night!
1743), daughter of Cosmo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany; m. John William, Elector Palatine (d. 1716).
7 A street at Florence, in which the Opera House stands. Walpole.
* Prince and Princess Craon. They •\vere deeply in deht.
0 Madame Sarasin,
6 The Electress Palatine Dowager, the last of the House of Medici. Walpole.—Anna Maria Louisa (1667-